The Chatter Podcast: Information Ecology with Alicia Wanless

Benjamin Wittes
Friday, June 2, 2023, 10:33 AM
Benjamin Wittes sat down with Alicia Wanless to discuss information ecology, her career, what's wrong with the discussion of disinformation, and more.

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Alicia Wanless is one of the pioneers of the idea of information ecology, the notion that we should think about information and disinformation as part of a complex ecosystem, the management of which she analogizes to environmental policy. Wanless has been complaining for several years that the war on “disinformation” skates over important question: What are the collateral effects of anti-disinformation policies? How do interventions against information pollution operate in the real world? 

In her conversation with Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare’s editor in chief and this week’s Chatter guest host, Wanless talks about how she became interested in information management, what’s wrong with the discussion of disinformation, what a more environmentalist approach to information spaces might look like, and what a useful research agenda for the nascent field would focus on. 

Among the works mentioned in this episode:

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.

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